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Job Summary

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy is one of the nation’s top policy schools. Our mission is to offer outstanding education for leadership in public policy analysis and public management and to excel in social science research that illuminates public policy issues and promotes better public policy.

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy is seeking a highly responsible, self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to help us achieve our fundraising goals associated with the Victors for Michigan campaign and ongoing fundraising goals into the future.  Our Annual Giving & Stewardship Officer will be responsible for the planning and implementation of the Ford School’s annual giving and stewardship programs.  A critical component of this position will be the ability to write and edit high-quality content for development communications with particular focus on recognition and acknowledgement correspondence and annual giving appeals.  The candidate will focus on improving effectiveness and results for annual giving, parent giving, the class gift campaign, and other special programs through direct mail, email, social networks and Telefund. This position will coordinate with other departments in the Ford School on a variety of projects and will manage budget planning and tracking related to annual giving and participate in cross functional Ford School committees as appropriate. The Annual Giving & Stewardship Officer reports to the Director of Development.

Please note:  A cover letter and resume are required for consideration for this position.  The cover letter should be included in the same document as your resume and should specifically address your interest in this position and outline particular skills and experience directly related to this position.


Annual Giving

  • Partner with University Annual Giving to design and oversee an annual giving plan including direct mail, email, social media and Telefund
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan to increase alumni giving, attract new donors, and retain and steward current annual donors with a focus on increasing their engagement with the Ford School
  • Track and analyze giving metrics to refine annual giving plan to ensure increased revenue from all annual giving segments
  • Compose the case for support for mail and phone efforts and recruit appropriate volunteers to serve as signers for mail solicitations
  • Provide general assistance to our volunteer student committee focused on our annual Class Gift solicitation effort.  Effectively communicate school priorities while allowing for student creativity and input into the process.
  • Oversee budget planning and tracking for annual giving



  • Create, implement and evaluate a comprehensive stewardship program that creatively and strategically recognizes donors for their contributions and informs them about the use of their gifts to the Ford School and the University of Michigan
  • Coordinate the student scholarship letter-writing program, including presenting program to students, advising students, and tracking letters.
  • Coordinate Hail Yeah!, a student thank you project for annual gifts
  • Assist Ford School Dean, Development Director and Major Gift Officer in acknowledging donors by providing information, handling thank you letters and other forms of donor recognition


Alumni Relations and Communications

  • Serve as development department liaison to the Ford School alumni relations team charged with engaging alumni in the life of the school.
  • Foster alumni engagement in development activities within the Ford School
  • Serve as lead staff of the Alumni Board’s Development Committee


General Duties

  • Serve as an active member of the development team, participating in the development and implementation of the team’s short and long term goals and planning objectives including events and stewardship activities
  • Participate in Office of University Development meetings, trainings, networking and activities and develop understanding of the University’s broader development objectives
  • Effectively partner with colleagues in other Ford School departments to implement annual giving and development objectives
  • Serve on school-wide staff committees to foster staff and community development

Required Qualifications*

A Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 1-3 years of fundraising experience or relevant experience in sales and marketing or other related networking fields

Excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills; demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with donors, faculty, staff and student constituencies, both orally and in writing are essential

Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills, as well as the ability to recognize the need for, and to easily change writing styles to fit the audience and voice of the piece.

Prior experience managing multiple projects and completing assigned tasks in a timely manner

Superior customer service skills and attention to confidentiality with the ability to work in a fast moving environment with sophisticated clientele and colleagues

Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in a team environment. 

An ability and willingness to quickly learn the Ford School and University’s history, mission, demographics, faculty, current programs and general culture to persuasively articulate the case for support

A high level of competence working within databases and Excel for retrieving, organizing and researching appropriate donor/prospect information, as well as data gathering and manipulation

Must be able to work with a high degree of discretion and confidentiality and appreciate an interdisciplinary and diverse university environment.

Desired Qualifications*

Experience in annual giving or leadership annual giving will be strongly preferred

Higher education fundraising experience

Familiarity with University of Michigan processes and procedures

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.